‘Ugly’ Steak n Cheese Tacos

I’ve been making this recipe for a few years now and I’m always encouraging friends to try it. But I’ve never posted the recipe because the photo of the steak… eh not so pretty. I finally decided to suck it up and just post it because I make this meal on the regular. It’s one of our favorite go-to weeknight meals that’s fairly healthy, inexpensive and easy to throw together. And in the end it really doesn’t matter the photos are ugly because the tacos are deeeelicious. (By the way I challenge anyone who makes this recipe to send me a not ugly photo ūüėä)
These tacos are really a lighter alternative to a Philly cheese steak grinder but they don’t lack in flavor. If you can eat just two it’s a great meal. The key is Trader Joe’s thinly shaved beef steak.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Shaved beef steak
  • Red or white onion, sliced
  • Sliced portobello mushrooms (optional
  • Sliced peppers (bell and jalape√Īos)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin and coriander
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, avocado, fresh cilantro, hot sauce, salsa verde, cilantro (I can keep going…)

Directions:

Slice your peppers and sauté. I seasoned them with all the seasonings listed above in a little oil. 

When I have the time, I like to caremalize onions on their own and then add the mushrooms to them at the end.

If time is not in your side, throw the onions in the pan, wait a few minutes and then add the peppers. Mushrooms are totally optional but are an easy addition.


While your veggies are cooking, prep your steak by placing on paper towels to absorb some of the moisture- this will help your beef sear a nice brown instead of steam the meat.

Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper for heat. You can use chili powder instead for more flavor without the spice. Whatever floats your boat!

The trick to the steak is getting your pan very hot. A cast iron skillet is a great option for this meal but any pan will work. Spray with some oil and sear the steak on both sides. Sometimes I use my tongs or a fork to tenderize the meat while it’s cooking by gently tapping it. I cook it in small batches because if you crowd the pan the steak will steam.

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When all is ready to go, I like to melt the cheese on a small portion of the steak by adding it right into the pan and then assemble the taco with veggies because when is melty gooey cheese not better?

I heat my taco shells right on the flame of my stove for a little char.

Plate your ugly but delicious food. Top with hot sauce, fresh cilantro, avocado and/or sour cream. I’ve tried it every which way and it all works.

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This night I went straight up sour cream with peppers mushrooms and onions‚Äč

This night I had peppers and onions and topped it with some homemade spicy enchilada sauce I had on hand.


Another great topping: throw avocado, cilantro, jalape√Īo and lime juice in a blender. Pur√©e and use in lieu of sour cream. It never disappoints.
And my funny meme for the day because I can’t get enough tacos.

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Crock Pot Flank Steak Tacos

We all have busy days when we don’t have time to cook dinner so the crock pot is a wonderful tool for the working….any person. I was very skeptical about putting flank steak in a crock pot but I would never post anything I didn’t think was awesome. 10 minutes in the morning allows you to come home to a ready made meal. Try it for yourself!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb flank steak
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Hot sauce to taste (I recommend Trader Joe’s Green Dragon Hot Sauce)
  • Spice rub of your choice. I used the following: salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and coriander
  • White corn tacos (or whatever you like)
  • Toppings of your choice: mexican cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, etc but it honestly doesn’t need it

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Directions:

  • Rub your steak with the spices and place in the refrigerator overnight. You can do this the morning of but I was trying to save time.¬†
  • The next morning put your steak in the crock pot on the bottom.
  • Slice your pepper and onion and put on top of the steak.

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  • Pour the soy sauce and hot sauce around the steak.
  • Cook on low for 9 hours.
  • Shred and serve.

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If you divide by 4 servings and use 2 corn tacos per serving you can see below this is a very healthy dinner option.

Grilled Steak and Zucchini Salad

Tonight, I threw together a quick, easy and healthy meal in between work and a meeting. Its feeling like summer outside so what better night to fire up the grill? When you grill you keep the calories down but you don’t sacrifice on flavor. It’s a nice night to grill outside and as bathing suit season approaches we can focus on minimizing our intake of pasta, rice, bread, etc. Get creative with some fun yet simple salads.

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INGREDIENTS:
– Steak (whatever cut you like- sirloin is great or filet if you want to spend an extra few bucks. Try to keep it lean!)
– 2 zucchini
– 1 lemon
– 1 garlic clove
– Olive oil
– Balsamic vinegar glaze
– Romaine lettuce
– Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
– Fresh cilantro and parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

Marinate your steak (for as long as you have but make sure you bring steak to room temperature) in a drizzle of oil, salt, pepper and fresh cilantro.

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Cut your zucchini in thin strips (a mandolin would be helpful here- really need to buy one of those!) and place in a tin foil dish you make by folding up the edges. You can place the zucchini directly on the grill but when you cut them this thin it gets messy. Squeeze 1/2 the lemon juice, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Mix well so they are coated. Put the zucchini and steak on the grill.

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In a small blender add about 1/4 cup cilantro and parsley with the other 1/2 lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic clove, olive oil, squirt of balsamic glaze, salt, pepper and a pinch full of parmesan cheese. Blend together.

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Flip your steak and cook to desired temperature and let rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash and chop romaine lettuce and place in bowl. Chop zucchini into bite sized pieces and sprinkle on top. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Slice the steak and place on the salad. Spoon the salad dressing over the entire plate.

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For a stronger and sweeter flavor, drizzle balsamic glaze on top to finish. This dinner can be thrown together in just 20 minutes and the result is fresh, simple and healthy. The hot zucchini and steak warm the romaine and all the flavors come together in your mouth. You wont miss carbs with this fast weeknight meal!